The annual Marriotts German exchange with Gymnasium Finkenwerder is an excellent and beneficial experience for all! Firstly, you meet so many new friends and have the opportunity to live a German style of life for a whole week. Every day is jam-packed with school experiences, excursions and local activities!
This year was the second time I have visited Germany, however for this occasion I partook in a work experience programme. This was enjoyable plus productive and it was a real treat to work in a German class with its pupils. I really got a lot out of it such as language and people skills, confidence, an insight into German teaching, new vocabulary as well as improvement on my pronunciation in my German speaking.
I decided to come for a second year as in 2013 I had an amazing time and everyone was so friendly. Also it’s not every day you can do work experience in a different country!
While we were in Hamburg it was the Harbour’s 825th birthday. The streets were filled with intriguing and traditional German stalls along with tremendous atmosphere even though it was a bit drizzly.
On Tuesday the 13th of May we went to Lüneburg, which is a small town about thirty minutes away from Finkenwerder. Not only is it a great place for shopping but also a beautiful and historical place. One of my favourite buildings is the church with the wonky tower, which was built by the drunken builder.
After arriving at the town hall we were allowed to go off shopping and sightseeing in groups. Me, Kirsten, Alia, Sarah, Mollie and Tabea went for McDonalds before exploring and shopping. As we had come the previous year Mollie and I were able to guide the others, which was nice after a week of our exchange partners helping us.
Before heading back to Finkenwerder we also went swimming in the local pool. Not only did it have an outside pool, an inside pool and two hot tubs but also an awesome slide which was very fun. As well as relaxing I also got a quick swimming lesson from Alfie.
Unfortunately we missed our train so had to wait an hour, but this was a great excuse for a second McDonalds! After the train and ferry we arrived back in Finkenwerder at seven o’clock.
The exchange was a great experience. Not only did it help with my pronunciation and understanding of German but also with my knowledge of German culture. I also made a lot of new friends, who I am now very close to.
For most of the students on the exchange, it was their first time going. But for me, Freya, Hannah, Katie and Lizzie, it was our second time. Some of us came back because we missed Germany and wanted to re-live the experience, some of us because we wanted to see our old exchange partners, even if it was just once. Others came back because they wanted to work on their German pronunciation and learn new words and phrases, they wanted to know more about the culture, and, most importantly, they wanted to help out the German students with their English. But, I do think that there is one reason why we all came back – the food.